‘Oscars’ handed out at Mariners Resource Centre ceremony

[slideshow]Guest blogger Christopher Nykiel posts about an Oscars ceremony with a difference at the Mariners Resource Centre, off Dewsbury Road. Mariners provides a place to socialise, learn new skills/hobbies, and get advice and support…

So then, if there are awards ceremonies seemingly for everybody and everything these days, why did Mariners Resource Centre end the year by inventing yet another?

Richard Lang, Centre Manager, explains:

“The aim of the centre is to encourage our users to take their purposeful place in the community. The Awards are our way of rewarding those who have progressed to become involved in the community. It’s a pat on the back.”

We honoured the members of the Green Shoots allotment project for their spirit of enterprise in selling its produce and gaining a gardening qualification.

Awards also went to those who attend the Circle Time social development classes at St Francis Primary School in Beeston. Circle Time is inspirational because it breaks down barriers and increases understanding between generations, and between those who have a disability and those who don’t. It teaches our customers social and conversational skills, and increases their confidence and self-purpose.

Mrs Holmes, the head teacher, said:

“It has been amazing to see the children grow in confidence with our visitors, and reach a stage where the children can see the person and not the disability, and are able to interact comfortably. There is a tangible respect and care for each other during these sessions of Circle Time… This is something we would not achieve from books, films or awareness campaigns, but from working together and sharing experiences.”

We also honoured our friends in the local community who have made a terrific contribution to life at the centre. We gave the Partnership Working award to Barclay Community in recognition of the spectacular work carried out on our greenhouse and pond, or as we like to refer to it, ‘The Lake’, Digging through at least a foot of rock was an amazing feat, the finished job looks great and will be a haven for wildlife. Thanks to their hard work and enthusiasm the greenhouse is much brighter, while the art work is amazing.

All award ceremonies have their entertainment and guests of honour. We invited Cllr Lucinda Yeadon, Executive Board Member for Health & Social Car,e to present our awards. Further motivation was supplied by disabled high-flyer Brett Crossley, who spoke about the difficulties in completing the London Marathon with a flat-tyre on your racing bike, and shared the sports medals that he has won. Emma Clayton and Rose Chadwick of Wakefield College engaged our customers to participate in a short piece of inclusive performance dance.

But all the best award ceremonies award their top prize for Personal Achievement, and we are no exception. This is the big award because it is given to the person who has shown significant progress over the year.

This award was given to Margaret Belton who has been highly praised by the staff of the centre as well as Gill Eldon, the maths teacher for her enthusiasm and commitment to the maths class. Gill said:

“She sets herself extremely high standards and is cross with herself if she doesn’t meet them. She is amazing!

“Over the past two years, Margaret has tackled Pythagoras theorem, algebra, fractions, decimals, percentages and negative numbers. Not one of these subjects has come easily to Margaret, and only through hard work and determination has she managed to master these new skills. Margaret is an inspiration to us all!”

When Margaret received her award she proved the value of the ceremony as a motivator because she said:

“Getting this award shows that hard work really does pay off.”

This made the hard work in organising the event worth while.